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Comment Re:Copyright Holders Are Winning Control of Our Go (Score 2, Insightful) 194

Sadly. And the fact that the content industry generates taxes that are badly needed by our nearly-broke governments won't help improve the situation. In an economy that is so reliant on commercializing (and taxing!) imaginary "goods", I have no hope to see those copyright excesses be repelled anytime soon.

I think we might be coming at this from different points of view. I don't see anything wrong with an economy that is reliant on commercializing "imaginary 'goods'" - in fact I don't really see how we could have anything else. Aside from the content industries, the insurance industry, the stock market, futures trading and any number of other sectors work by commercialising something other than physical goods. And while it may not strictly speaking be stealing, making use of these services without paying does harm the industry and does, undoubtedly, have serious consequences for its future. When talking about the content industry this means illegal file sharing, which is and should be punished.

Where I object is when we lose perspective and abandon the very principles of our justice system in order to pander to the content industry - that is what is happening now in the UK, in France, in America and probably in many other countries, and it is against this that we should be protesting. I don't want to put words in your mouth, but people calling for the abandoning of copyright and legitimization of file sharing cause a problem for those people opposing the laws currently being passed, since they make it easy to characterise the opponents of the law as selfish, short-sighted "pirates".

Comment Re:Modern-Day Galileo (Score 1) 1747

I believe it's the fact that anyone can study a topic. I can study the Bible and not be a high ranking member of a church. Just like I can study scientific journals, peer-reviewed studies, textbooks, etc. and not have a $60,000 piece of paper saying I studied it.

Okay, to be sure that's true. Yet in most cases in the course of studying a topic in sufficient depth, you also earn the blessed piece of paper, and essentially become part of the "clergy" even if you disagree with them. Very few people are actually able to sit down and read textbooks and journals to the point where they are equivalent in knowledge and understanding to a traditional degree. There are, of course, exceptions. The most notable to me being Michael Faraday, who was a peasant in a class-based society and simply had no access to college. He got his education as a book binder, reading the books as he bound them by hand. For that matter Einsten was really only a PHD student when he wrote his paper on Special Relativity, though it's not unusual for a graduate student to contribute to their field to varying extents.

If someone has an argument against facts, then they should have facts to present and be weighed accordingly, regardless of bureaucratic "proof" of study.

Yet that gets to the heart of the issue: Who is doing the weighing, and do they have the qualifications necessary to do so correctly? Forget "bureaucratic proof"; how many of the people questioning the results of climatologists do you think actually have studied the topic well enough to say they are as qualified to analyze the results as those with aforementioned proof?

I mean, any jackass can say they don't believe in the Luminiferous Ether. It took someone like Einstein -- brilliant and educated -- to rigorously show why it was not needed, and how the universe behaved in its absence. He didn't necessarily have to get that education at a university, but it had to come from somewhere other than pure ego, which I think is where most skeptics "education" comes from.

Comment Re:Missing poll option: When is Diablo 3 comingout (Score 1) 408

Intel (and other manufacturers) caters to whatever market segment their customers want. /. has a disproportionate number of people who buy shrink wrapped CPUs, but that's a piddly market. Chip manufacturers sell to computer makers like Dell, H.P., and Apple. If these companies want gaming CPUs, Intel and AMD will sell them gaming CPUs.

All that said, I'm not clear on why you're complaining. Are modern chips not fast enough for you?

Comment Re:Yet another free business going bust (Score 1) 165

Your sarcasm is more accurate than you think.

Broadcast media is funny - someone else controls the content, and they control the ads. As a result, broadcasters can reasonably guarantee that an ad would be seen by a certain number of people at a certain time, and the advertisers pay a premium for that opportunity.

A service like Imeem, with its on-demand, user-controlled content/playlists, is much more dynamic, and as a result, much more difficult to get a wide audience for any particular ad. The result is that ads for services like this don't cost as much, and thus bring in less revenue for the broadcaster. So the analogy to traditional ad-supported broadcast media is not quite right at best, and completely wrong at worst.

The problem for the future of ad-supported free content is that other than for live or near-live events (like a daily news program), broadcast media is dying. Broadcast media is not controlled by the end user, and end users want on-demand, I-control-the-content services. The traditional way to make that work was to make people pay for the *content*. Sell them CDs or MP3s or DVDs, and they can do what they want with them, watch them whenever, etc. I have yet to see someone make that viewer/consumer model work with ad-supported content.

Comment Re:HEY DOUCHE CMDRTACO -- atomsmasher IS NOT A WOR (Score 4, Insightful) 338

Who cares, dude? Shakespeare made up hundreds of words. English is a living language -- if people weren't allowed to make up words we would have nothing to call that machine you are using to post this inane crap, nor for the medium by which we are all disgraced by your brain vomit.

Comment Low Taxes and Societal Decay (Score 1) 117

The movement for the continual reduction of taxes is symptomatic of the decay of our society. It represents a shift from a grand vision of our society as seen through organizations such as NASA to an inward looking consumeristic vision of society where most of our vital energies are spent either producing goods to consume or consuming those goods. It used to be that if you were really smart, you became a rocket scientist. That was where the money was...and the prestige. Now you get a degree in law or business and become an investment banker, and you use your intelligence not to build grand projects, but to figure out ways to pick the pockets of less intelligent investors or to convince consumers to buy useless gadgets that they don't really need.

Comment Re:lol @ 'finally standing up' (Score 1) 453

You're right, it's not illegal to mod your Xbox. It's legal though, to ban modded Xboxes off of Live. They're no longer using the service in good faith. A lot of cheating happens on Xbox Live because of modded consoles.

The lynch pin to the whole case is that functionality was disabled that wasn't made apparent during the update process. I'm guessing Microsoft is going to pull some sort of trade secret argument if this manages to go to court. Xbox is now compromised, so is the creamy DRM filling in the middle from Windows Media Center PCs. I don't think it's necessarily cogent, but, IANAL.

Comment Re:Worry? About what? (Score 1) 453

Seriously, what part of subsidy do people not understand? You don't build, ship, stock and sell an Xbox 360 for under $200. Microsoft doesn't want to sell a ton of new ones because they don't make money on them. It is honestly because Microsoft doesn't want people to pirate games because they DO make money selling them.

Comment It is because you are junior (Score 1) 260

Either it is because you are a junior, or you make consumer-level software.

Once you get to be mid level you will start getting requests like this from management sometimes:

"Hey we are on site at potential customer X that is evaluating us, and feature Y (some critical product defining feature recently released) is not working in their environment because they have Z (a corner case never accounted for). This is a (insert V hundred thousand or larger dollar value) deal and we need this fix in before end of day (which is in 3 hours) - can you look into it?"

Stuff like this happens at any private software company who is in the business of selling software to other companies. Of course if you don't make the deadline it is not like anything bad happens to you (hopefully), but MAKING the deadlines and winning the deal sure makes you look good when the next annual review comes along.

Comment Re:Floor mat, really? (Score 1) 1146

Actually, the *torque* the engine produces lies in a curve and peaks somewhere around 3000-4000rpm for many engines. This is the maximum force exerted via the flywheel. The maximum *power* is near peak rpm, produces *less* force, but makes up for it by the increase in rpm... ie more energy delivered per unit time.

The maximum constant force the brakes must overcome is at peak torque. There is an additional factor in that the engine and drivetrain have a large amount of rotational inertia (this is why fast-revving powerful engines often have lightened flywheels), but the brakes apply more retardation (srs) than the engine applies acceleration, for ic-engined cars.

Comment Re:Bzzzzz ... wrong ... (IEEE Spectrum) (Score 1) 1146

I think a better test is - say you're a skinny person who is 115 pounds, if you were carrying a 110 pounds (some other light person) could you do a small hop on one foot? Or you were a 170 pounder and carrying a 60 pound kid - can you do a small hop? If you can, then you can probably push the 225 pounds required. That's closer to the brake leg movement than a leg press lift.

The CHP officer should have been able to easily do 225 pounds with one foot.

IMO the problem is if you don't apply max force on the brakes (just step on them hard but not max) - then the brakes might start burning out first.

Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up.